Ambassador: Texans ‘get It' About the Need to Defend Mexico, But More Can Be Done

Mexico's new ambassador to the U.S. urged Texans on Friday to be more vocal in defending a neighbor that's committed to being a key ally and is responsible for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state.Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez called for Texas to have "a very active role" in setting the tone for the rest of the nation on matters of trade, culture and economic integration with his nation and said that Texas stood to lose the most among states if the nations' current tensions worsened.When it comes to the importance of the binational relationship, Gutierrez said: "Texas gets it. I think some key people are vocal about [defending Mexico]. But can more be done? Of course and more should be done, yes, of course."In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, the ambassador pointed to the economic importance of the state, particularly North Texas, as a reason for making Dallas his first trip away from Washington. The visit comes at a crucial juncture in the relationship between the two countries.President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled their first scheduled meeting in January over, among other factors, Trump's insistence on building a border wall and having Mexico pay for it. Throughout Trump's presidential campaign, the call for a wall was a rallying cry, one deeply offensive to Mexicans.Gutierrez hinted the Trump administration's tenor is changing on some issues, such as NAFTA, which Trump at one point pledged to rip apart, and the border wall. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told the Senate this week that he didn't expect the wall to extend "from sea to shining sea," as Trump has said."The tone and the latest expressions we have seen from the administration are a little bit different from what we heard initially," he said. "Things seem to be going in the right direction."  Continue reading...

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